National Fisheries Institute
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is the United States industry trade group representing the seafood industry. It is a member of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA). Its member companies consist of all levels of business involved in seafood, from fishing vessel operators to seafood restaurants.
The National Fisheries Institute has a wide variety of stakeholders represented in its membership. Members include the following: Associates/Suppliers to the Industry, Bank & Financial Services, Broadline Distributors, Exporters, Importers, Processors, Producers, Retailers & Groceries, Seafood Restaurants, Suppliers, Trade Associations & Universities, and Wholesalers. Some well-known members include Wells Fargo Bank, Sysco Corporation, US Food Inc., National Fish and Seafood Inc., Seatrade International Inc., Wal-Mart, Red Lobster Seafood Co., and Santa Monica Seafood. A full list of current members can be viewed on the NFI website.
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members are committed to practices that preserve the proper management of the environments of the world’s ocean. They endorse the United Nations Principles for Responsible Fisheries and practice all of the required regulations included. Their commitment to preserving the ocean provides a guarantee of healthy seafood around the world and a guarantee for the future generations to have an abundance of fish populations. The members of NFI also stress for generic seafood brand consumption to increase sales for the companies of the members. They also decide what to spend money on for endorsing, for example they decided to spend $35 million on advertising for the benefits of seafood consumption.
The NFI and its members practice responsible aquaculture by following all regulations and enforcing them, and marketplace to support free trade.They ensure the public has the facts about the health benefits of fish and shellfish by informing its consumers and combining with associations such as the FDA. NFI and its members support and promote sound public policy based on ground truth science of all marine life. The slogan of the NFI and its members is “We are the people. We are the fish. We are the ocean.”
Sustainability is at the core of NFI’s mission and members take actionable steps to implement the best practices and standards to ensure future generations can be assured the health benefits of a plentiful supply of seafood. NFI endorses the United Nations Principles for Responsible Fisheries and all members are obligated to “ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources.” Seafood sustainability takes into account the impacts of the economy, society, and the environment. The NFI collaborates with other foundations to ensure seafood sustainability. They collaborate with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee (DGAC) which recommends to consumers to eat a wide variety of seafoods caught naturally or raised in a fish farm. They also work with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) that was founded in 2009 for the concern of the future population of tuna. The NFI also ensures that the public is informed of the recent facts or events that occur involving sustainability through the media.
Future of North American Fisheries
The NFI works to improve sustainability through studies of the ocean by catches and other studies by scientists. The role a study of the ocean can play in improving the harvesting of the resources, and improving the present fish harvesting methods is important for the quality of catch (NAFC, NFI, FCC, 1966). The practices of the NFI are a necessity for the future of the ocean and its fish population and environment.
The members of the NFI strive to achieve this by endorsing new initiatives. In 2007 the NFI endorsed three specific seafood initiatives to benefit the safety part of the industry. One initiative they have worked on is certification of importers and exporters. This provides evidence that the NFI does support the importation of seafood from foreign countries. The second initiative the NFI endorsed is to Internationally recognize food safety and labeling regulations proving the NFI’s goal for healthy seafood. The third initiative is the certification of labs to sample and test foods that meet FDA guidelines. The initiatives that the NFI endorse reveal that their intentions are to better the seafood community and seafood consumers, however the support of international seafood fisheries threatens small local fisheries in the United States. The NFI requested 200 million dollars from congress to increase the budget for the FDA to reassure consumers confidence in the seafood supply. Approximately 85 percent of seafood is imported. The NFI has worked with U.S. and overseas officials to meet guidelines on food safety. The members of the NFI were among the first companies to adopt the successful regulatory system of food-borne illness. The National Fisheries Institute’s endorsements prove the intent of their action throughout the seafood industry is to promote health and to satisfy consumers.
Interaction with ENGOs
Greenpeace Greenpeace is a large multi-national environmental NGO. Among the many issues Greenpeace takes a stance on, it campaigns for sustainable seafood and overall ocean conservation. The focal point of this campaign is a yearly survey called “Carting Away the Oceans” in which they grade retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, on the sustainability of the seafood sold in their stores. The “report card” that is issued as a result of the survey has the potential to impact retailers’ business as it purports an arbitrary rating system as fact. The survey is entirely voluntary and retailers have seen others in their industry become the target of further campaigning whether or not they have participated in the survey until they cave to Greenpeace’s demands. The survey is used more as a method of drawing media attention to retailers’ seafood products rather than accurately assessing the sustainability of the products.
- International Coalition of Fisheries Associations. "ICFA: Members". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "About Page - About Seafood". About Seafood. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "NFI Weighs Generic Marketing Campaign for Seafood". web.a.ebscohost.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
- "Sustainability - About Seafood". About Seafood. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries - Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations". FAO.org. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "National Fisheries Institute endorses 3 food safety initiatives for seafood". web.a.ebscohost.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
- "Greenpeace Campaign on U.S. Retailer Costco To Protect Oceans Ends With Chain Creating New Seafood Policy". Greenpeace. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "NFI: Greenpeace just took 20 minutes of my time I will never get back". Undercurrent News. Retrieved 2016-05-26.